Jumat, 29 Oktober 2010

Are you waiting for passengers or meditating?

Waiting for passenger is something that I truly deeply madly hate whenever I was in the rush...

Yup, most drivers of public transportation here will just park their vehicle in random bus stop and wait for their passengers to fulfill the quota (hahaha...) of those empty seats. If there are only few passengers on board then these drivers will prefer to just wait for more before continue the journey.

If we were on the bus terminal then yeah I could understand. Bus terminal is the center place to almost all kind public transportation here in Jakarta... That's the risk if you choose to get on the bus straight from the terminal. The good thing is most buses on the terminal usually still have empty seats and they never park too long for more passengers. But then again, from all kind public transportation that I know there is nothing more annoying then times taken by Mikrolet to wait for the passengers. I have no idea whether they decide to wait because they need the money or just plainly their hobby... Like waiting for the egg to come out...

Once I was in this Mikrolet at night. There were only four passengers including me who sat beside the driver. He drove very sloooowly... I tried to be understanding because he must be trying hard to find more passengers. And just lucky me, the other three passengers get off from mikrolet at the next bus stop. So it was just me alone with the driver. And I was agitated because surely he is going to park there waiting for another passengers. And I was right. There we were... Together... In the dark...

I sat there in silence... Sighed... I want to play around with my cellphone but I feel unsure about it. I glanced at my watch and notice that it has been five minutes we just stuck here. THen suddenly two passengers were on board... Thanks God... it means now the driver has three passengers... I was being thankful however the driver was not. I was thinking now the driver could move on since there were three passengers but nope... He still continue this endless searching for more passengers by not moving on... Another five minutes (meaning for me it has been 10 minutes) those two new passengers probably think they had enough and get off from the bus... Oh nooo... I tried to be patients... But once I saw my watch and in total I have been waiting for freaking 15 minutes that was when I decide to get off the mikrolet. I threw my money to pay the fare since I have been there start from the previous bus stop. Stupid me! If I know he is going to wait there forever I might just get off earlier and take another mikrolet!!

Another annoying thing from mikrolet while they are waiting for passengers are for their limited seats. So most driver would not move on before those seats are full with passengers. Yeah, with that formation four passengers on this side and another six on that side and if they have little bench they could force two passengers sitting there. Once the seats are full then they are willing to start the journey.

Sometimes to attract passengers to get on to their vehicle, they pretend to start their engine and so we are going to think...oh no we are going to be left behind... Then we ran to chase the mikrolet only to find that they are turn off the engine and just stay still waiting for more passengers! And if we decided to leave that mikrolet since we are in a hurry the driver will yell at us,"IF YOU ARE REALLY IN SUCH A RUSH THEN GET A TAXI!"


Rabu, 27 Oktober 2010


Rain + vehicles + Jakarta = NIGHTMARE

Oh no, I am not going to discuss about heavy rain that hit Jakarta for 3 hours nonstop on 25 October 2010... What's to talk about since I was not on the road at that time...

 But I do still remember when the first time I experienced that nightmare in the beginning of 2010. I forget the exact time but it was probably around January. The situation was more or less the same... Nonstop heavy rain for hours. I knew it already that there would be heavy traffic jam and rather I just pondering and wondering on the road waiting for bus more than 1 hour...better just go to the mall. It was Friday and so I contacted my friend to meet me at Grand Indonesia near Hotel Indonesia. We talked for hours and decided to end it at 10.00 PM. And I thought, the traffic jam surely over by now based on years of my experience.

And once I got out of the mall with my friend we were stunned... Why on earth this queuing for taxi still like this with so many people? We then go further near Hotel Nikko Jakarta and wait for taxi. Not bad for a night walk along with the workers from the mall (mall close around 10 PM)

We wait and wait for taxi... My friend who rented and stayed around Setia Budi (still near) loyally wait with me to get a cab. We waited for about half an hour and almost tempted to walk to Sarinah to intercept taxi there. It was almost 11 PM before finally I found one cab so I say farewell to my friend. I figure I could arrive at home within approximately 20 minutes... It was soo late already...


STILL TRAFFIC JAM at Imam Bonjol street along to Diponegoro... The driver then take initiative to find another road avoiding traffic jam. We circle around here and there and end up at the street near Tugu Proklamasi... And just stay there. STUCK. The driver sighing and me was beyond sighing. I was almost screaming when I looked at the fare meter... SHould I just walk? Seriously? Then finally we were able to move and the driver decided to take the road to Bukit Duri to escape from another traffic jam at Matraman Raya. That was the moment I saw that BUSWAY was still around with lots of passengers inside. All look tired and upset. That day was on Friday while heavy rain yesterday was on Monday 25 October 2010. I could imagine how pissed everybody were who arrive late at night at their home, sleep for few hours and already have to get up early in the morning. Then go to work with fear they have to deal with another nightmare.

Wondering why this thing keeps on happening? Things like this are going to make people passed away sooner due to stress and upset. They are tired from work and to go home they have to fight their way through rain, flood, traffic jam and worst...no transportation at all...

Maybe we should move to another town? Or change nationality?

Senin, 25 Oktober 2010

Give me money...

As usual I was using the bus, again... My relationship with buses is love and hate situation... I love using it because it has cheap fare but I hate whenever the bus is overly crowded... Both by passengers and street entertainer.

Anyway, I sat on that empty bus... Already a street singer...singing or whispering or sighing... I have no idea... I was sitting a bit far from the the street singer...

Here is the thing... I have no idea where they like to stand and start singing... Sometimes they stand near the door... Then the other time they standing in the middle of the bus... Making the passenger who stand or sit near the street singer will feel their ears are overflow with unwanted singing... And that day I was lucky enough not have to listen to him close enough.

 After watching the street singer my eyes glanced to a lady older than me but not by far. I offered her my seat... Well, the bus was a bit empty so I do not mind standing. But she gave me her biggest smile and said she was not a passenger. She is in fact another street singer! She was pointing to the singing person and told me that he did not follow the unwritten ethic. "Before performing (oh, dear... THis is a bus not broadway) we all sort of gathering around at the back area of the bus... Waiting for our turn... But this one just jumping in and singing... Really have no manner..." I smiled politely as what else I could say or do?

Then the lady took her position in the front area after the so-called-rude street singer finished his performance. And someone took over her place once she finished collecting money from us the passengers. Overall, things going on as usual.

But when I was on the bus in the evening, four men (probably just enter their man hood) get on the bus and start yelling like this, "Ladies and gentlemen... We need your attention, please..." And I was like... darn... Here we go again...

All of them starting to yell to us the passengers, "We just wants your help..." , "It would be better if we ask nicely like this rather than the other way around..." , "We ask you politely to spare us your money for about 1,000 Rupiah or 2,000 Rupiah..." , "It would be better we asked like this rather than robbing you blind", "Giving us that amount of money won't make you go poor..."

I sighed.

When the first time they use this Mode Operation I admit I was scared. Sure, I would give them 1,000 Rupiah just please get off the bus. But within times, I get irritated... No, no, no...I did not do crazy thing like approaching them and giving speech about hard work and blah, blah, blah... If they did not tend to stab people they sure will after listening me giving that kind of lecture. I really hate that they threaten us the passenger like that. So, after a while I refused to give them money...POLITELY of course... I may get annoyed but not crazy... But that evening...I just suddenly feel these young men would not take no for response so I decided to get off the bus. The total of passengers were not much so I just get this nasty feeling about it...

I just feel if the bus crowded with people, these sort of hoodlums would not dare to do more than empty threat. But if the passengers are not so many then I do not want to take a risk.

Sometimes they are not young men or teenagers but also kids... Not only on buses but they also insist us the passengers to give them money on mikrolet or any other public transportation. Once I refused to give the kid money because he kept on poking me... Insist I have to give money to him and the more he asked I get more annoyed. And when I firmly refused he started to yell and said nasty words. I could not care less...though I feel a bit sorry for the situation that force many children to earn money in such a way...

Jakarta is a big cruel jungle...

Jumat, 22 Oktober 2010

Now push back!

How to get back to people who push you around on the bus…

Hahahahah…. No, no, no… It is not my intention to teach you how to get enemy on the bus or hurt someone else that makes them end up in a hospital…

But you know what… Some people really need to be hit in the head … SOMETIMES…

One thing that you have to realize and know: this is a public place and not some private place belonging to you.
You will meet people who do not hesitate to push people around so she or he could make ways to get into the first line. If you try to be angry with this people, trust me… YOU WILL ONLY DEGRADE yourself. People would not mind to push, step on other people but get furious when other people did the same thing to them.

Once a girl pushed me from behind because she probably thought she was the only one who wants to get on the bus. So, I waited my chance and I pushed her back but keep my face straight. As if I did not realize what I has done to her. You know what, she got angry and told her mates that she was being pushed by me. She keep pointing, whispering and even try to glare just to catch my attention. I suppose she was so ready to drop everything with her and said,”BRING IT ON!” But I keep a straight face and pretending I did not listen. And after a while her trash mouth probably tired and she just stop. Do not mess up with a 37 year old tired lady…

There was a time I was not in the mood and when I did not want to move myself to the back of the bus (why should I? I was about to get off within minutes) there was a girl got angry and said something unpleasant. When I retorted back she fired back… I back off because to be honest…I was embarrassed. I should be able to control my emotion. Am I afraid to get into cat fight on the bus? Hell, yeah! What if everyone on the bus took out their cellphone and started to record everything then upload it to internet? It would be a humiliation. So, I just stay quiet and when I was about to get off I throw her a dirty look.

When people refused to slightly move over from where they are standing then it means they are about to get off at the nearest bus stop or simply not want to. Relax… Don’t get angry. Just remember when you are late entering classes or courses. The best seat already taken. In this case the best place to sit (usually near the door so it would be easier to get off the bus) already being occupied by someone else earlier than you. Suck it up. If not, then go ahead try to push that person as he or she will not just give in.

If someone step on you well try to think positive as she or he might not doing that on purpose. They just stumble upon something and you get to be stepped over. But if they push you then I can assure you they do it INTENTIONLY. They wants you to just move aside and give them the way. ARE THEY NUTS? Nope. It is just what happens daily on the bus. People loose their common sense.
Sometimes, they push other people due for being pushed by people standing behind them. A woman once scolded me because I sort of push her aside. I ignored her because if she did not move and I have to stand behind her obediently then someone will take my place and make ways to the bus… Sighed.

Anyway, just remember… If other passenger pushes you, don’t get mad. Just get it over with. Let it go if you want to practice healthy living. But if not, then go ahead… Do the same thing. But make sure you did not glare to that person and make a face saying,”HAH! You push me then I push you too!”… Just keep a straight face and look ahead. And please, please…do not push them to the ground… You will feel sorry afterwards!

Oh and by the way, just think this…if other people push you…then perhaps they just return the favor… (LOL)

Rabu, 20 Oktober 2010


I heard from the news that today 20102010 there would be massive demonstration... Demonstration means heavy traffic jam and probably motorcycle taxi will have so many passengers by the end of the day...

Speaking about it, One of the visitors here kind enough to remind me to not forget wear helmet everytime I use Ojek / motorcycle taxi ...

Now that's another tricky part...

Well, as we all know...ojek is public transportation here... When I said public, meaning that there are many people use their services. And it is also meaning that the HELMET provided by the ojek's driver has been used by so many people.

I am not a fashionista or have this good thick glowing hair... As a matter of fact I am facing the danger of being bald as my hair keeps falling down my head... So, if I have to put that helmet after being used by so many people who probably has dandruff on their head or have another hair problems...yikes... It is kinda yucky, right?

So, what I suppose to do when the ojek that I ride passing an area where there are so many policemen standing by? There is no way I am going to buy and bring my own helmet... It is so annoyingly heavy. Beside, if the destination is not too far and still around the area of my home then I could choose not to wear helmet. But if it was on the highway then I am not that daredevil. Additionally, the ojek's driver will not taking any chances and usually ask their passengers to wear helmet. The first time I was forced to wear helmet as the driver sort of beg me to.
"Miss, please wear the helmet... If you do not wear it I could get a fine by the police because it is breaking the law..."

Though not really want to, nevertheless I have to force myself to wear the helmet and the result? I felt the itchy feeling in my head... Okay, once is enough. I started to think how to protect my head without having risk to get germs from other passenger's head.

Come to think of it... Oh, dear.. Silly me... I used to wear jumper and there is the hood to cover my head... So, I can safely use the hot so hygienis helmet to protect my head. I also prepare scarf daily so I can wear it before the helmet just in case I do not wear my jumper that day.

If I really want to be safe, then there will be a way ^_____^

I am safe and the ojek's driver is happy...

Senin, 18 Oktober 2010

Story about motorcycle taxi

OJEK or motorcycle taxi (got this from daily newspaper: JAKARTA POST)

I have no idea when Ojek started to operate here in Jakarta or in any other part of Indonesia for that matter. I started to realize about this (illegal) public transportation when I just started to work. (Oh dear…wondering what I have been doing all that time before finally have a job to do)

During my job, I made friend with someone from other company. And one day she asked me to go to the movie with her. She said to go there it would be best if we use ojek. And I were like hesitating and it must have shown in my voice. She then asked what’s wrong.

“To be honest, “ I replied over the phone. “I have never use Ojek before…”
“WHAT?” she burst out laughing… “You kidding, right?”
I sighed.
“No, I am not… I have never been in a bicycle before (to this she then…again…laughed out loud) and therefore I am kinda scared using Ojek…”
“For heaven sakes… You are Jakartan! You live here all your life… You have to try it,” she replied. “Nothing can go wrong… Just pretend you are with someone that you know…”

Of course eventually I gave in and went to the movie with her using Ojek for the first time. I always use pants so I just sat on the motorcycle facing up front. Those women passengers who are used with Ojek sometimes just sat facing the left side. I still not dare to do that very often as once I did try and almost fall from the motorcycle.

I still remember the sensation of my first time on the motorcycle. It was fun, feeling the air (and sadly the dust) swept on my face… To know that we were going to arrive there earlier than everybody’s else because they were still stuck in the traffic jam. So, yeah… I enjoyed my first time using Ojek.

Then Jakarta was hit by riots and my public transportation such as buses were unable to take passengers home due to roadblocks or worst. The angry mob often just burns those buses though nobody was inside. The other way to go home was to use Ojek. Naturally, the give us outrageously expensive fare but seriously…at that time nobody care. All we could think of to get home as soon as possible. Who would want to stand like an idiot on the street when there were so many looters, angry people thirsty to kill anyone that they stumble upon? Or walk miles and miles away as no public transportation available at that time.

Ojek however, will refuse passengers that wish to go to the flooded area. Or during heavy rain pouring down the earth. The driver prefer to take cover under the bridge and yes it will cause another traffic jam.

The fare however is a bit tricky. Perhaps you should ask around before deciding to use Ojek. Like for example to go from here to there the common fare usually around USD 1. But when you asked them, they will just say USD 2. If you do not bargain, then it will be your lose. Or, if they give you a number then just bargain with half of the price. If he seems grumbling but take the offer then yeah…that is the suitable fare. If the driver seems pissed then you may try to ask another driver…

Most of these Ojek’s driver hang around together for passengers near bus stop. If you are wondering where the heck is the bus stop; usually located near or under the crossing bridge. You would find so many ojek there. Ever since the economic turmoil in the year 1998 many people use their motorcycle to be Ojek. The number is increasing so it is a tough life for them.

I once have a chit chat with Ojek’s driver while he took me to my destination. He said that there are so many people becoming ojek’s driver. His income started to decrease and he was a bit frustrated by this. I said, whether he consider himself to take another job? He said he did. He was offered to work in this cruise ship to be cleaner. However, his wife refuse to let him go as she worried her husband would fall in love with someone else. He then laughed and said he would do it anyway because he has no idea how long he could keep this up on supporting a family with so little income.

Ojek’s driver like any other human being can be aggressive and rude. On the other hand they could act fatherly especially towards younger women. It depends on the person how they behave to their passengers. If they are nice naturally passengers will remember them and looking forward to use their service again. And if they are not, all passengers will no doubt remember them to not use their service again in the future.

So, do not wish to get stuck at traffic jam? Use Ojek!

Kamis, 14 Oktober 2010

Let me outta here

Things that could force people get off from public transportation whether is a bus, busway, mikrolet, and many others:

Downed tools
Well…isn’t that so obvious? What else could you do when that situation occur? Would you like to offer your help to push the vehicle? Or you wish to pray for a miracle to happen so the public transportation miraculously back in business in order for you avoiding loss for the fare? If you want to pray then you should do it before you use any public transportation.

Have no idea what, where, how that smell is coming but it stink! And inhaling that odor in a long time makes you get a headache. To avoid any unfortunate events such as collapsing in public place perhaps you should take a hike from that vehicle.

That kind of creepy feeling
You are unsure about something but it keep on bugging you… If you feel that if you are in danger or some kind then do not hesitate to just get off the public transportation. The fare you lose meant nothing with the gruesome ordeal that you might have to face if you choose to ignore those feeling. Naturally, remind yourself don’t just get off in a secluded area…

High volume music!
Once I entering mikrolet with dark glasses, there are this discotheque lamps above playing with your eyes and of course that big bad loud speaker. And then the driver put on this tripping music that will drive you wild at the club but drive you insane inside that tiny public transportation. If you are not in a hurry to go to your destination then perhaps getting off will be a very good decision.
Same things happen on the bus though the area is much wider that does not mean will lessen any suffering that you have to listen the loud music. Not only the music is beyond your taste the driver feel the need to turn on the volume to the maximum level. If you are listening to your IPOD then it would be better if you just take it off. It won’t do you any good to try covering the unwanted music by making the volume louder on your IPOD. The sound from that big loud speaker still able to penetrate into your ears and it will be better you just get off the bus… If you really can not take it anymore…

Selasa, 12 Oktober 2010

Handphone on the bus

Sometimes I think handphone should also be forbidden on the bus... A warning not to use handphone on the plane due to the signal will disturb navigate system on the plane. Even with that horrific fact still there are passengers who just simply not care

Then why the use of handphone on the bus must be forbidden?

1. Well, for your own safety
Aren't you forgetting that there are many pickpocket on the bus? What's the point of parading your new gadget on the bus? Oh, well come on... There is no way I am going to be mugged. I am sure I will remember where do I keep it. And surely I will remember to be careful not to let anyone grabbing my bag... YOU SURE ABOUT THAT?

2. Noisy
Totally true... NOISY... You are fall into a sleep while you are sitting there on the bus, then suddenly there is this thundering voice beside you
YEEESSSSS! GOOD MORNING SIR! (silence while listening)
NOT YET! I AM STILL ON THE BUS (another silence while he listen to someone on the other line)
HUAHAHAHAHAH.... YOU JUST KNOW IT, SIR...(listening seriously)

While the people on the right and left beside him glancing in fury and if only they could scream, "OH NOOOOO.... Why can't you speak when you have met the person?

3. Fall
Yes, you could fall while in the middle of message texting. Message texting with one hand is kinda tricky... Then without realizing it, the other hand that you used to hold on to something...finally reaching the gadget... And just after you releasing the holding part...you hear the screeching sound from the driver hit the brake. And by the sound of the brake your body is flying to don't know where along with your gadget flying beautifully. Until it landed somewhere and got kicked by other passenger...and its gone. Or even if you manage to find it, it has been damaged.
And in that teary moment, there will be always someone saying to you, " THat is why you do not play with your gadget all the time..."

4. Destination forgotten
I was reading my book when i heard a scream from a lady. It turn out that she was busy chatting over her cellphone and forgot to get off from the busway when it has arrived to one of those bus stops. And like always, rather than get to be blamed by others...better blaming other in the first place.
"Hei! Stop! That was my stop, " the lady screamed
"Sorry Ma'am, no can do... I have informed that we have arrived at the previous bus stop. But you did not respond to me, " the official replied with patience.
"But I was on the phone!"

Hhhmmm, I was thinking... What was that suppose to mean? So the busway and all of us here have to wait on that bus stop until she finished with her phone?

And while she was ranting, the busway kept on moving. Unfortunately (for her) the next bus stop is miles away than the previous stop.

"Let me get off here!" she screamed again angrily.

The official in charge sighed, "We can't do that, Ma'am. You have to get off at the bus stop for busway... We are not allowed to just let the passengers out in random places... It's dangerous..."

Finally she gave up and since she was still not satisfied she ranted again. She was back on the phone with don't know who and ranted about how nobody informed that she supposed to be getting off, blah, blah, blah

5. Dangerous
Nowadays there is a huge fine to drivers if they were caught busy chatting on the phone while driving whereas they should be concentrate on driving. So I beginning to think, is the same rule also applying to bus drivers? I have witnessed that several of them loves chatting on the phone while driving the bus. And to think that there are so many lives at stakes in their hands. What if there is a car crash due to loose ability to focus while driving?

Now you see why the use of handphone should be forbidden on the bus? (yeah right, as if I could stand not playing with my gadget on the bus)

Minggu, 10 Oktober 2010


Everybody makes a fuss about 10.10.10

Many people held their wedding ceremony on this date… And those who are in the middle of their pregnancy probably going to give birth through operation in order to deliver the baby exactly on 10.10.10 and will even better to be born at 10 o'clock at 10th minutes at 10th second. How cool is that? So, if people ask you when was your child born? Ehm, you could answer :…. Yipeee

Actually if being asked why such an obsession with that particular kind of date…well it is obvious so we can remember things easily. Usually people remembering something because it was unique or give impression in the heart.

Talking about something unique, it made remember funny words from motor taxi’s driver (but absolutely not the one below, I took this when he was not aware…) who offered his service to me…

Him : Miss, need motor taxi?
Me : No, I don’t… (and kept on walking without really paying attention to him)
Him : Why Miss? This heat frighten you? Well, don’t be… Mine is air conditioned

It stop me from walking further and take a look at the witty driver… If I did not remember that I was in a hurry to get a bus I would have answered, “ Are you saying air con from the nature? No need to say more…”
Come on… The only Air Con available on motorcycle is the wind slapping you on the face and it will get you cold for sure.

The other time, I was using another public transportation that sort of like Mikrolet and decided to sit beside the driver. You know about how I really dislike sitting near people who brought so many baggage. After I sat, it did not take long enough for the 20 something driver to start his act.

It was the time when we still see very few car using CD’s player. Not even on private car let alone public transportation vehicle. But the driver let out a compact disc and inserted it to the player…. Whoooosss…the blue light shone as a sign that the player is now ready. Spontaneously I glanced at the driver. I was thinking…, my, my…he’s got style. The sound of music start to fill the car and I was glad I did not sit at the back. I assume that is where the loud speaker located. And I did not want to hear loud music near my ears. After I reached my destination, I give him the fare and you know what…? He said thank you… Yeah, in ENGLISH! To which I replied ,”Your welcome…”

A driver speaking ENGLISH, maaan… (aside that’s probably the only word he knew…well, who cares?)
I can’t believe that so many people claim they went to get higher education but chicken out with English language…
I could not remember their faces exactly… However, I do remember things that they have said… Things they have done…

Perhaps I would be able to remember a lot more if it was happening at 10.10.10

Jumat, 08 Oktober 2010

Physical's problem

Getting on the bus in Jakarta require extraordinary physical strength... Nope, I am not exaggerating anything...if we are in the situation where the bus is overloaded with passengers.
Yeah, overloaded with passengers during busy hours on any kind of bus. Either regular bus, fast semi express bus, whatever you can think of even busway

Why we need to have physical strength?

1. Pressure
No, noooo...not economical pressure... But physical pressure from other passengers. At crowded place like that, once in a while there will be passenger who are going in and out. If your body not strong enough to stand in the middle of so many people and hold on to anything (not holding or grabbing or gripping on other passengers, naturally...)...then we could loose our balance and simply fall.

2. Grip or hold on to something
If it happens we are standing near the seat, then we could place our hands and gripping strongly to the side of passenger's seat. You can use both hands or one hand only if you have to. If we are in bad luck, then we have to stretch our hands and grip anything available above... If we could reach it... If you are as short as me...then...good luck

What if you are not in good condition or plain sick?

Hhhhh, for me is the biggest torture. That is why my salute to those pregnant women who is more than capable to be inside the over crowded bus with people. Lots of them even have to standing all the way their journey!

Once I was on the bus while my PMS period. At first, I only feel the usual symptom...like you were having flu and your body is aching everywhere. But soon enough the passengers started to overloaded and I was gasping for air. My head was spinning around and the worst part my vision started to blur. I decided to just get off the bus rather than pass out inside. Then when I was standing near the door, I felt the air brushing my face... It was like I was thirsty and been given water to fresh me up... What a relieve! Then I stayed on the bus and keep standing near the door until I reach my destination (what a stingy!)

I really hate to feel going to the toilet whenever I have to stand all the way of my journey...inside the overcrowded bus. Feel like I was being stabbed all over the place. Usually, if I really could not stand it anymore I was starting to act (actually it was not really acting as I did feel a lot of pain). Making a tortured face and ask for mercy from people who already sat. I asked them to give their seat to me as I could no longer bear the pain. Usually works! At least that was happening when the first time I desperately ask for help from other passengers to give me their seat. Have not try again afterwards.

Oh, by the way I think I need to revise a bit about physical strength... It is not a guarantee that you will be able to strong enough facing the storm inside the overcrowded bus.

I knew someone who all his/her life mostly living outside Jakarta...once collapsing on the overloaded bus. And this person whose strength no need to be doubted; not even standing inside that bus! But then again... Perhaps environment outside Jakarta full with fresh air... And when we used air conditioned bus (though the AC seems not working properly) with all the windows totally shut...obviously we would feel out of breath... And later on we will loose consciousness... LOL! For honoring this person, I am sorry I will not disclose the real identity.

Kamis, 07 Oktober 2010

Street singer...entertainment on the bus

One of the longest entertainment on the bus is street singers.

All my life spent on the bus, I hardly ever been able to enjoy their voice... Most of them were unpleasant to be heard. But then again, how in the heck we the passengers able to listen to their singing if we are dead tired from standing there too long, sweaty and greasy. Even if we are able to sit, the blasting horn and other cars engine from outside the bus are louder. Plus, most of the street singers were barely screaming or even mumbling (I even thought that they were not street singers) not so clear what they are up to. Can you imagine the ears of those passengers have to hear the sound of cars, engine, the cracking voice of street signer and to complete everything the sound of music full blasting from the driver. No, the driver is not singing. If he become street singer then who would drive the bus? But the driver turn on the music and the loud speaker...may compete with those concerts held in Ancol.

Street singers could turn nasty if we the passengers refuse to give them money. Over and over again, they would say that by giving them 500 Rupiahs will not make us poor. yeah, but when it comes to give money then it is up to us, right? Probably their bad luck if there is no passengers want to give them money as for all the way of that route there were dozens of street singers before them. If we give 500 Rupiahs to 10 street singers, wow it would amounted to 5,000 Rupiahs. Not bad, we could buy chocolate bread for our evening snacks.

But not all street singers are annoying, several of them can really entertain us or make us smile...like the following :

1. Street singers with two memorized songs
At first I did not really pay attention what that street singer sang about. Well, I have shut my ears with IPOD ever since I got out from the house and therefore I do not care whatsoever with around me. But once in a while I took off the IPOD and that was the moment I heard what he was singing about. Every day I used the same bus at approximately same hours. It turn out the street singers operated at that same hour. Soon enough I finally realized that he could only sang two different songs. Like for example, on Monday he sang Only You and the next day he sang Because of You. Later on Wednesday he is back singing Only You and so on...
Pretty smart. The most important he memorized two songs only so he could sing it from the heart

2. My friend told me about the story which made me laugh when try to imagine it...
My friend's husband told her that he once saw a street singer furious to be given 500 Rupiahs and thrown back the money to the passengers who give it to hi,. He said, hopefully I translate this correctly," Goodness, I was only worth as much as 500 Rupiahs! Didn't they see me singing with vibration and has nailed the feeling of it?"
LOL... What a stuck up street singer

3. Under age street singers sang in terrible English
When I heard him for the first time, I was in between laughing and touched. I feel sorry, he is still so young but has to earn money by being street singer. So, we the passengers did not hesitate to give him money. But when the next time we saw him again, repeating his tactic by singing the same song with the exact same way as before, over and over again...we just bored finally and in the end not giving him money anymore.

4. Street singer with screeching voice
Yeap, this one try to hit the high notes and blew it. Terrible. But, did he give up? Of course not. He clearing his throat and then started to sing the song right from the beginning...and totally failed once more. That was the moment he caught passenger's attention. Including me who also tried to have a look at that street singer. I pay attention to him from the very beginning...and still he got slip on that high notes. This time he gracefully bowed and said that was it and after saying goodbye to all the laughing passengers he walked out from the bus.
What a street singer! He failed, and then tried again, failed once more and he did not even ask for a compensation at all. Was this only a trick to gain fans? Do not know, as I have never seen him again. Or to be precise, I have never heard any street singer slip while singing high notes and resigning themselves without ask for money.

5. The street singer who get too comfy inside the bus
This one really enjoying his singing time on the bus without even bothered whether we the passengers already getting bored or giving him money. I even heard the driver's assistant yelled at him," Oi, get it done quick! You almost run out passengers!"

By the way, the below picture is not mine. I got it from kolomkita.detik.com after browsing on Google 

Rabu, 06 Oktober 2010

Senin, 04 Oktober 2010

Queuing separation

When they started to separate queuing between men and women on busway's bus stop and terminal, I could only laugh...

Not that I do not appreciate what they were trying to do to prevent sexual harassment that has been going on for ages. However queuing separation will never be able run smoothly if:

It is peak hour, busy hour, crazy hour. The hour when people want to leave home for work, school. The hour when people leaving school and office to go home. All come together in the exact same time. People instinctively going to search no matter how tiny space that giving them even the smallest chance to get in the first line from the queuing. If necessary, they will bring rope and hanging around in front of the rolling door at the bus stop for busway in order to be able to get on the bus ahead from other people. If they are able to get on the bus first, then they will be able to choose which seat they want to sit on. Otherwise, they could choose which corner they could just stand without being squeezed by others. So, if the line for women's queuing is a bit empty during the peak hours then those men will never care less. If people already over crowded, the officials in charge finding a hard time to keep the rule. The people will becoming more fierce. And the official probably think, oh what the heck... It is you who is going to fall not me.
Out from the peak hour, then there are less people and therefore automatically they becoming calm and just follow the rule without being told to.

Before they started to apply the rule, please be informed that the space on the terminal and bus stop for busway are tiny. Do not imagine that the space is as grand as terminal for train (please be reminded that they built those places in the middle of the road)
So, how can they arrange separation between men and women regarding to queue?

Good intention to have this kind of rule. Unfortunately is not really that easy to be applied. As it will be up to the user, will they agree to follow the rule? Will they agree to be told what to do in order to obey the rule? Mostly...not really... Come on! Admit it...! (just like me when panicking in rush for home as soon as possible)

Sabtu, 02 Oktober 2010

User Friendly...NOT

I once read busway created to be user friendly especially for people with disability. Yeah, right...

The truth is, none of public transportation in Jakarta are user friendly for :

1. people with disability
2. Pregnant women
3. Elderly

When I was fighting my way into the bus, there was an elderly in front of me... Also struggling to get in along with dozen ruthless people (sad to say, including me)... Then she suddenly shrieked, saying that she has lost her flip flop. Can you imagine how panic she was? She was about to get on the bus, however there was no way she left her flip flop and going home with only one on her foot. So, eventually she gave in otherwise she could fall down and got stomped by others. That's the difficulty to get on the bus. If the passengers wants to get off, the driver's assistant will definitely help by pushing them out of the bus. So, when we are trying to get on the bus they treated us like cattle hurriedly told to get in. But when we are trying to get off, they treated us like trash to be throw away as soon as possible.

Nowadays, I think the situation will get even harder as the traffic jam seems hitting the street at any time and any place. Usually, traffic jam only happened at certain time. Like when people rushing to go the office and school in the morning. And when the time the are trying to go home as soon as possible.

For people with disability, to use the busway they also have to remember which bus stop that allowing them to move without difficulty. Only few bus stops for busway that are not too big and they are most definitely will find it hard to move around the transit terminal. And when they are inside the crowded busway, it will be even harder to do anything. And I even noticed that when the buses all over crowded, people could not care less about elderlies, pregnant women, let alone people with disability.

Maybe another years to come...to have user friendly public transportation. That if Jakarta does not sinking under the sea first as many people predicted.

Jumat, 01 Oktober 2010

Safety problem

Using public transportation in Jakarta is sort of a dilemma. If it was full, we feel very annoyed. Aside that we are suffering from the heat, we are stuck in the middle with dozen of people, totally exhausted as we do not get a seat and have to stand for quiet some times. And surely do not forget about pickpocket. Not to mention people with demented hobby by doing sexual harassment on the bus. With all of that, we then start to dream if only that public transportation is not so crowded. We would not feel like we were rush when we we are about to get on or get off. We do not have to get squeezed by other passengers or their belongings.

But, once we get on an empty bus or other public transportation...we would be lying if we did not feel worry. A few years ago there were cases of hold-up inside illegal public transportation. I said illegal because they are actual personal vehicle transformed without legal permit into public transportation. Perhaps sort of hitch hiking. But people who hitch hiking does not need to pay the fare. While this one, people will pay the fare to the driver. Most people prefer this kinda transportation. As, most of the passengers going to the same direction and soon become familiar to one another. But, few years ago...there were people pretend to be the driver and passengers in this illegal transportation. Then robbed the real passengers. So, the question when we get on the not so crowded public transportation...are these all real passengers or not?

Well, to be honest I can not give you tips other than to follow our own instinct. Usually our instinct hardly makes mistake though from other people's point of view we could be labeled to paranoid or fabricating a situation that not exist.

If we are already inside a public transportation and feel something not right, do not hesitate to get off even though our destination still far from being close. Don't worry about the fare as it would be nothing compare with other losses. Such as mentally; being shocked after the crime took place. Or naturally material looses that would take more rather than just the fare.

Once I decide to get off from a taxi as I felt that the driver kinda annoying. He kept on opposing all the direction that I have told him to take. Finally I decide to get off near my friend's home and just get another taxi. I did not mind loosing the fare rather than being agitated all the way home.

Often we heard recommendation from people about "bad" taxis and "Good" taxis. Though is good to have recommendation like this, but not always guarantee us safety and comfort.

Obviously when we go together with bunch of people, slim chance that we all going to be robbed by the driver and his accomplice. But when we are alone then we need to be extra careful. And trust our instinct. Plus, prays...a lot.